Instead I want to share with you what has been on my mind.
I am a passionate person with some solid dreams. Okay, that sounds too glorious. Let me see... From a very young age I knew that I wanted to be a missionary. Growing up, whenever anyone asked me what I had in mind for life I would tell them just that. It was always accompanied by a surprised but admiring compliment. I hesitated to tell people at times because I felt like I was not yet worthy of the proverbial "pat on the back". I've read many biographies. I've heard the stories. My favorite "heroes of the faith" have been Jim Elliot and Amy Carmichael, one who walked a short and hard road, and another that walked a long and hard road. There is no glamour.
One of my greatest fears have been coming to the moment all seem to come to when years down the road, they have given their all to a cause and appeared to reap no reward.
My greatest fear though, is being asked to give the greatest sacrifice. The question for myself has always been, "What will I do in that moment?" God forbid that I would falter then at the last and most important moment.
Over the years I feel my calling has taken a broader shape as I have desired to be part of ministry in general. I've thought of many different ways to do it in my current situation, and dreamed of bigger ways to do it were I able. But here I am, halfway through my twenties with hardly anything to show for myself in terms of ministry. I can see where this post could get quite depressing. But I would be digressing, so don't worry.
While I sit here asking myself what God has in mind for me, why He hasn't shown me already, and what if He has shown me and I'm not seeing it, I am also aware of the fact that I have a responsibility to the immediate life. Serving others now in the situation God has put me in, to be more exact. Which is ministry as well.
Just the other day I read an article by Erin Davis on Lies Young Women Believe called 50 Ways to Serve Others. I have been battling the feeling of uselessness nearly all year and this article piqued my interest. Erin lists some very simple and easy ways to serve others in your life. While reading it, I was brought back to a conversation I had had with my mother a few days ago. For some reason I can't remember, I began listing the many times I had encouraged in words but neglected to act. We've all done this.
For instance, not long ago I missed a friends wedding after all but promising her I would be there. Granted, I lacked transportation, and we haven't seen each other in years. But I still feel guilty for not making more of an effort, even if it turned out the same way in the end.
Another time I missed a friends' mothers funeral after telling her that I was there for her if she needed me. Once again, we aren't super close and have only talked occasionally. I am not the shoulder she cries on in her troubles, so I really wouldn't be missed, right? It's not like she expected me.
And then recently my Papaw died and my Grandma has been very lonely. I considered going to visit her but, you guessed it, have not yet. There is still trouble with transportation, and then there is the fact that my Grandma and I aren't just super close. It would be a little out of the ordinary for me to go and visit.
But do you see the problem here? I have good excuses, but are they really good enough? When it comes to being there for someone you love, be they distant friend or relative, it is more important then all the excuses in the world.
I felt smote. This thought just crept upon me, is God quiet because I have not proven myself faithful in the small things? Am I too comfortable in my little life, even with its many flaws?
God has given me the gift of service. My desire is to serve. But you can't serve without taking a step outside of your comfort zone.
Now obviously I am being harder on myself than others would feel necessary. And that is often the case. We are, as they say, our worst critics. But I find the only way to make myself get truly serious about something is to be scathingly hard.
We all fail at times but the question is whether we are going to keep up the pattern or break it and try for something better.
Have you seen yourself in my confession? Have you passed up opportunities to be there for others and opted for a good excuse out instead? Consequently, have you been struggling with a feeling of uselessness, as if there were things you could do but don't know where to start?
Any advice I have I give to myself first. Resolve to be motivated and don't let opportunities to help others slip by. You can't help everyone, and it is not your job to do so. But, as Proverbs 3:27 says,
"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so."
What do you think? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below!
Come back soon as I resume #SwashbucklerMonth!